It's been way too long since the last newsletter appeared. Part of the reason is my "retirement" work schedule, part is that there are so many mysteries to be read and sweaters to be knit, and part is that not a lot of editorial material has come in (and I have not taken the time to seek it). And still you continue to subscribe! Well, summer's over now and I am going to try to turn over a new leaf - before I have to begin raking the yard.
So, I'm asking for help. A lot of the information in this issue is very old, which is not good. In my visits to librarians and my talks with publishers during the last year we have discussed a number of concerns, most of them related to electronic journals. Some of the issues are: the various ways of pricing online journals; the costs of publishing and subscribing to a journal in two or more formats; the impact on library budgets of providing wide access to electronic journals; and the costs of using an aggregator to simplify library patrons' approach to the journals.
I am not trying to duplicate or compete with liblicense-l; the emphasis in this newsletter is pricing. If you will help get a discussion going on these and other issues related to serials pricing, I promise to edit and distribute it "in a timely fashion," as our job descriptions always say. I need you; please help!
209.2 SSP SEMINAR ON SELLING/ACQUIRING ELECTRONIC INFORMATION: A
DIALOG ABOUT BEST PRACTICES
Judy Luther, Informed Strategies, firstname.lastname@example.org
[Received August 20, 1998.]
Does it take too long to acquire electronic publications?
Are you handling multiple licenses?
What could publishers/vendors do that would help simplify the process?
On Thursday, September 17th in Washington, DC, the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) is hosting a workshop for publishers, librarians and vendors to discuss all sides of the acquisition process. A distinguished panel will address all topics related to the acquisition of databases and e-journals, from presale technology issues related to access, through licensing, to post sale evaluation efforts based on usage statistics. We invite you to share your experiences as we explore what works in this rapidly changing environment.
Panelists will address the following topics:
Electronic publishing dynamics
* Judy Luther - Informed Strategies
Decision to acquire the product
* Nancy Gibbs - North Carolina State University
* Claire Wyckoff - Columbia University Press
* Connie Kelley - University of Virginia
* Ron Akie - Silverplatter
Negotiating the license
* Sarah Sully - JSTOR
* Marietta Plank - University of Maryland
* Susan Hillson - Publishing Consultant
Implementation and renewal
* Jay Trolley - Institute for Scientific Information
* Jim Mullins - Villanova University
The seminar will run from 9:30-4:30 at the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) at 1575 I St. NW, two blocks from the White House. It is priced attractively at $70 until Sept. 9th, afterwards $90. You may register with SSP in Wheat Ridge CO by phone 303-422-3914 or fax 303-422-8894.
209.3 RESPONSE TO KAREN HUNTER IN NO. 208
Fred Friend, University College London, email@example.com
[Received July 28, 1998]
Karen Hunter rightly points to the danger of using statistics to score points (Newsletter 208), although I have to say that statistics which include the number of pages in a journal are just as suspect! Librarians have used the statistics they have used because they are the only statistics they have. The situation has been that we have had this gut feeling that journal prices are too high, and such statistics as we possess have demonstrated the point. To get to the heart of the problem publishers and librarians have to forget about the statistics and concentrate on securing a better environment. I am sorry if Elsevier have felt that the best way of dealing with the criticism is to turn the other cheek. Much as that may be commendable in some circumstances, I think what librarians are looking for is an acknowledgement that there is a problem with journal prices, that our gut feeling has some validity. In other aspects of life acknowledging that there is a problem can lead to solutions. What we seem to be getting from Elsevier so far is an acknowledgement that we are concerned but no acknowledgement that the issue about which we are concerned has any validity.
209.4 "THE FUTURE STRUCTURE OF SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION HOLDS NO
PLACE FOR COMMERCIAL PUBLISHERS"
Ronald Milne, King's College London, firstname.lastname@example.org
[Received July 17, 1998]
DEREK LAW - Director of Information Services and Systems, King's
College London and
JAN VELTEROP - Managing Director, Academic Press
debated the motion that:
THE FUTURE STRUCTURE OF SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION HOLDS NO PLACE FOR COMMERCIAL PUBLISHERS
There is now a report of this meeting at
209.5 ELECTRONIC JOURNALS: A SELECTED RESOURCE GUIDE
Jane Maddox, Harrassowitz Library Services, email@example.com
[Received July 20, 1998]
"Electronic Journals; A Selected Resource Guide" is the latest addition to the HARRASSOWITZ WWW site. This guide is an overview and introduction to the field of electronic journals, covering such topics as the history of e-journals, technical standards, legal and business issues, preservation, and archiving. Each section of the Guide consists of an introductory discussion and a selected, annotated bibliography of resources, most of which are available on the WWW. In addition, there are also pointers for maintaining current awareness in this area.
Harrassowitz is committed to maintaining this resource guide, and relevant new resources and discussion topics will be added regularly. To access this information, point your WWW browser to:
209.6 THE METADATA WORKING GROUP: AN INVITATION
Albert Simmons and Sally Morris, Joint Chairs of the Metadata Working Group, firstname.lastname@example.org
[Received August 20, 1998]
For the past months, an international (mainly US/UK) group has been working on the question of what metadata (`information about information') is required in the digital environment to support unique identifiers, such as the Digital Object Identifier (DOI), and to make possible the electronic identification, retrieval and trading of intellectual property.
Our work has focused on two key areas: describing the intellectual property (the `object') itself, and describing the various different rights which users may have or may wish to acquire, and the terms and conditions under which these rights are available. Although the DOI itself originated within the world of publishing, the issues raised by identifiers and their supporting metadata are common to all media, and we maintain close links with other industries, particularly music (which is well advanced in this area). We have developed an underlying model for metadata which we are now trying to refine.
We are sponsored by EDItEUR, the UK based organisation that has been active in creating Edifact EDI messages for the publishing industry world-wide. EDItEUR is currently engaged in a Title Information Project that, when completed, will provide a rich `superset' of descriptive metadata. We have also established relations with the Dublin Core community and with the BIBLINK project, both of which have developed specific subsets of descriptive metadata. We plan to continue this outreach to other groups, both inside and outside the publishing world, working with them to identify the most economical subsets for specific purposes. We will also maintain close ties with the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) as it standardises various metadata schemes.
On the rights metadata side, we are developing a detailed classification of rights in the publishing context and are taking an active part in an international, European Union-funded research project to compare descriptive and rights metadata structures from different industries and to develop a common basis for interoperability (INDECS). We are also commencing a real-world pilot, with a number of technology companies, to test the practicalities of our rights classification. In addition, we are actively supporting work on the identification and classification of users. The underlying aim which runs through all these activities is to ensure that the complete continuum of ways in which users or organisations with to interact with others' intellectual property -- from finding it to using it -- can be carried out seamlessly, conveniently and economically in the digital environment. To achieve this requires the development and adoption of common standards, so that computer systems can be completely interoperable.
You can find papers describing our work at http://www.bic.org.uk/rights.html, including most importantly the minutes and papers of an enormously valuable workshop of the Metadata Working Group, held in New York on 18 and 19 June. One of the key conclusions of this workshop was that we needed more practical input from all the players in the information chain, particularly publishers and intermediaries (secondary publishers and librarians).
We would therefore like to extend a warm invitation to participate in our work. Discussions are carried on mostly via an e-mail listserv sponsored by the International DOI Foundation (the June workshop was in fact the first face-to-face meeting of the whole group); in future we also plan an occasional newsletter. Smaller teams are delegated to work on specific projects.
We should be very pleased to welcome more representatives of the `information value chain' to our group.
209.7 THE IMPACT OF ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING ON THE ACADEMIC
COMMUNITY: AVAILABLE ONLINE (Press release)
Adam Marshall, Portland Press, email@example.com
The Proceedings of the International Workshop organized by Academia Europaea and the Wenner-Gren Foundation which took place in April 1997 is now freely available online*:
Information Technology affects all aspects of academic activity, whether in research, scholarship or education. A major revolution is taking place on how knowledge is being held and by whom. In the past, the main guardian of knowledge has been the academic community, with its related institutions of universities, libraries, learned societies, scholarly publishers, etc. That responsibility is rapidly being transferred to others, and yet the voice of academia is hardly being heard in this process.
In The Impact of Electronic Publishing on the Academic Community experts from a wide variety of backgrounds discuss the plans for implementing electronic publishing in their specific subject areas. Topics covered include:
* The present situation and the likely future
* Legal and political issues
* The content and quality of academic communication
* Social and cultural issues
* Digital libraries and archiving of electronic information
* Access to scientific data repositories
The online version of this book is fully searchable with links from the text to references and hot links to other web sites and e-mail addresses. There is a complete list of contributors and participants of the Workshop including contact details.
* With the exception of two papers where electronic copyright was not given.
* The Impact of Electronic Publishing on the Academic Community is available free on the Portland Press web pages and is also published as a book.
* The Impact of Electronic Publishing on the Academic Community Edited by Ian Butterworth, Imperial College, London, UK. Wenner-Gren International Series Volume 73. ISBN 1 85578 122 0 hardback, 200 pages, œ75.00/US$127.50
* Readership: The proceedings of this meeting will be of interest to all those involved in some aspect of transfer of information including academics in education and research, learned societies, commercial companies, publishers and librarians.
* Portland Press Ltd is the not-for-profit publishing subsidiary of the Biochemical Society. Further information about publications and society matters can be found on the following URLs:
Portland Press Ltd (http://www.portlandpress.co.uk
Biochemical Society (http://www.biochemsoc.org.uk
* Portland Press Ltd, 59 Portland Place, London W1N 3AJ, UK Tel: 0171 580 5530, Fax: 0171 323 1136, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Statements of fact and opinion appearing in the Newsletter on Serials Pricing Issues are made on the responsibility of the authors alone, and do not imply the endorsement of the editor, the editorial board, or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Readers of the Newsletter on Serials Pricing Issues are encouraged to share the information in the newsletter by electronic or paper methods. We would appreciate credit if you quote from the newsletter.
The Newsletter on Serials Pricing Issues (ISSN: 1046-3410) is published by the editor through Academic and Networking Technology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as news is available. Editor: Marcia Tuttle, Internet: email@example.com; Paper mail: 215 Flemington Road, Chapel Hill NC 27514-5637; Telephone: 919 929-3513. Editorial Board: Deana Astle (Clemson University), Christian Boissonnas (Cornell University), Jerry Curtis (Springer Verlag New York), Isabel Czech (Institute for Scientific Information), Janet Fisher (MIT Press), Fred Friend (University College, London), Charles Hamaker (University of North Carolina at Charlotte), Daniel Jones (University of Texas Health Science Center), Michael Markwith (Swets North America), James Mouw (University of Chicago), and Heather Steele (Blackwell's Periodicals Division). The Newsletter is available on the Internet, Blackwell's CONNECT, and Readmore's ROSS. EBSCO customers may receive the Newsletter in paper format.
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